Saturday, December 3, 2016

December 3rd, 2016 - A Narwhal Reality

Добрый вечер evil-doers!  The Meista here tonight getting dark and a little evil with a Narwhal Imperial Stout (2016 release) from Sierra Nevada Brewing Company and Russian pagan folk metal band Аркона (Arkona) and their album "Явь" ("Yav")! 

Album Info:
  • Artist: Аркона (Arkona)
  • Title: "Явь" ("Yav")
  • Recorded: June through October 2013 at CDM Records Studio in Moscow, Russia
    Release date: April 25th, 2014 (7th studio album by Arkona)
  • Record company: Napalm Records
  • Production: Sergei "Lazar" Atrashkevich and Masha "Scream" Arkhipova
  • Album cover art: Gyula Havanczák
  • Personnel: Maria "Masha Scream" Arkhipova (vocals and keyboards), Sergei "Lazar" Atrashkevich (guitars), Andrey Ishchenko (drums), Vladimir "Volk" Reshetnikov (ethnic wind instruments), and Ruslan "Kniaz" Rosomaherov (bass)
  • Guest musicians: Olli Vänskä of Turisas and Alexey of Sviatogor (violins) and Vika Yermolyeva (piano)
  • Musical style: Pagan metal, folk metal with elements of progressive metal, black metal, and death metal
  • Sound: Heavy, haunting, brilliant... the sound on "Yav" is utterly mesmerizing!  Arkhipova's vocals are both beautiful and brutal.  And the band wonderfully blends old world folk paganism with modern metal concepts, time signatures, and rhythms. 
  • Major themes: A concept album, the lyrical themes on "Yav" are heavily influenced by Russian folklore and Slavic mythology as well as pagan beliefs.
  • Notes: Songs on "Yav" are sung in Russian, Ukrainian, and Swedish.  "Yav" is Russian for reality. 
  • Tracks:  
  1. "Zarozhdenie"
  2. "Na strazhe novyh let"
  3. "Serbia"
  4. "Zov pustyh dereven'"
  5. "Gorod snov"
  6. "Ved'ma"
  7. "Chado indigo"
  8. "Yav"
  9. "V ob'yat'yah kramoly"
Brew Info:
  • Brewery: Sierra Nevada Brewing Company (Chico, California and Mills River, North Carolina)
  • Website:
  • Brew: Narwhal Imperial Stout
  • Style: Double / Russian Imperial Stout
  • Serving: 12 ounce bottle
  • ABV: 10.2%
  • IBUs: 60
  • Ingredients: Ale yeast, Magnum and Challenger hops, and Two-row Pale, Caramel, Chocolate, Honey, Carafa, Roasted Barley malts
  • Pour: The Narwhal pours a deep, opaque black chocolate with a 1 to 2-finger, well-sustained and frothy, mocha-colored head.
  • Nose: The nose is rich and complex.  There are notes of cocoa bean, rich soil, and espresso.
  • Taste: The flavors are big, bold, complex, richly layered, and encompassing.  The taste is multi-layered as well with deep roasted malt flavors and velvety chocolate.  There are flavors of dark roasted Colombian coffee mixed with baker's bitter-sweet dark cocoa, subtle and well-blended bourbon notes, subtle marshmallow, vanilla bean, and hints of black licorice.
  • Mouthfeel: Full-bodied with very low carbonation, the mouthfeel of the Narwhal is velvety, creamy, and smooth with some dark chocolate bitterness, and like "Yav," the finish is heavy and satisfying... an excellent example of how an Imperial Stout should taste!  As my dad would say, "you've got to drink that one with a fork and knife!"
  • Notes: This brew was inspired by the illusive and mysterious horned whale that "dwells in the deepest Arctic seas" and the black nights of the Russian winters... or so I'm told.
Overall pairing: Trying to describe the complexity and brilliance of Arkona's "Yav" and how it pairs so very well to Narwhal Imperial Stout from Sierra Nevada Brewing Company is like trying to describe the color red to a blind man.  You just have to listen, you just have to taste. 

Hails!!  Budem zdorovy!!

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